Far Right Activist Xi Van Fleet Calls Critical Race Theory "the American version of the Cultural Revolution"
Disclaimer: this article contains links to right-wing websites used as sources
Xi Van Fleet (Chinese name: 弗里特, pinyin: Fú Lǐtè) is a Chinese-American who grew up in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and experienced the turbulent years of Communist dictator Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976). At the age of 26 she moved to the United States.
"I know very, very well what happened during the Cultural Revolution," Xi Van Fleet told the Washington Examiner. "They rewrote history, and then they fed us, the young people, the fictional history, for the indoctrination for control [of] mind."
On February 26, Xi Van Fleet draw renewed attention from far right circles when she sparred with 1619 Project [¹] creator Nikole Hannah-Jones on Twitter.
"In Mao's China where I grew up ... you can only do things you're told to do. You can only think the way you're allowed to think. Everything is controlled. There's no individual freedom. It is all collectively under one party control. So there's no individual success," Xi Van Fleet told the Washington Examiner.
"[Nikole Hannah-Jones'] message is that you have no hope in this country. This country is always going to oppress you — which is absolutely false ... We have so many examples right in front of our eyes that people have succeeded," she added.
In the summer of 2021 "Fox News" reported on Xi Van Fleet's pushback against critical race theory at a Loudoun County School Board meeting.
"I’ve been very alarmed by what’s going on in our schools," she said. "You are now teaching, training our children to be social justice warriors and to loathe our country and our history ... The Communist regime used the same critical theory to divide people ... The only difference is they used class instead of race ... This is indeed the American version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution ... The critical race theory has its roots in cultural Marxism. It should have no place in our school."
It is quite curious that Xi Van Fleet did not mention Trump's attempt to overthrow democracy on January 6, 2021. Nor did she question whether the far right war on books and theories, which she herself endorses, is authoritarian or reminiscent of Chinese Communist Party methods.
But her interview highlights a puzzling phenomenon: the support for Trump and far right ideology among a section of the Chinese-American community, as well as Chinese and Hong Kong opponents of the Chinese Communist Party. This will be the topic of my next post.
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[¹] "The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative", via The New York Times.